Esai Morales - May 21st

Esai Morales --- my fellow Puerto Rican brother! Handsome and talented, Morales is well known for his role as Bob Valenzuela in the 1987 biopic La Bamba, Fame, NYPD Blue, My Family/Mi Familia with fellow Boriquas Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Smits and much more. When he was 12, Esai saw actor Al Pacino in the movie “Dog Day Afternoon”. From that moment on, he knew that all he wanted to do was act. By age thirteen, it was clear to Morales that his mother did not support his dream of an acting career. So Esai made a very difficult decision. He ran away from home and became a ward of the state. At first he lived in a group home, later living in a series of foster homes. While he was in care, Morales pursued his dream and attended New York’s prestigious High School for the Performing Arts (the school immortalized in the movie “Fame”). At fourteen, he made his stage debut at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, playing opposite the late, great Raul Julia in The Tempest. Morales has described himself as an "activist", primarily as one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, taking inspiration from his mother, who was an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Esai Morales

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